« ПредишнаНапред »
elderly lady was just before me—some lighter- that the bath has not been used by any one else. sounding footsteps were behind me--but without In most places, in ordering a warm bath, it is raising our eyes from the ground, we all moved on
necessary, to wait till the water be heated, but at just as if we had been corpses gliding or migrat- Wiesbaden the springs are so exceedingly hot, ing from one churchyard to another.
that the baths are obliged to be filied over-night, After descending a long well-staircase, I came in order to be cool enough in the morning; and to a door, which I no sooner opened, than, of its the dirty scum I have mentioned is the required own accord, it slammed after me exactly as, five proof that the water has, during that time, been seconds before, it had closed upon the old lady undisturbed. who had preceded me, and I now found niyself Resolving not to be bullied by the ugly face of in an iminense building, half filled with steam.
my antagonist, I entered my bath, and in a few A narrow passage or aisle conducted me down seconds I lay horizontally, calınly soaking, like the middle, on each side of me there being a series my neighbours. Generally speaking, a dead of doors opening into the baths, which, to my silence prevailed; occasionally an old man was very great astonishment, I observed, were all open heard to cough,—sometimes a young woman was at top, being separated from each other by merely
gently heard to sneeze,--and two or three times a half-inch boarded partition, not seven feet high! there was a sudden heayy splash in the cell ad
Into several of these cells there was literally joining mine, which proceeded from the leg of a nothing but the steam to prevent people in the
German Frau, kicking, by mnishouses of the opposite side of the street from look- take, above, instead of (as I was vigorously doing) ing-a very tall man in one bath could hardly beneath the fluid.--Every sigh that escaped was help peeping into the next, and in the roof or loft heard, and whenever a patient extricated him or above the ceiling, there were several loop holes, her self fron the mess, one could hear puffing and through which any one might have had a bird's- rubbing as clearly as if one had been assisting eye view of the whole unfledged scene. The ar- at the operation. rangement, or rather want of arrangement, was In the same mournful succession in which they altogether most astonishing; and as I walked had arrived, the bathers, in due time, ascended, down the passage, my first exclamation to myself one after another, to the rooms, where they were was, "Well, thank Heaven, this would not do in now permitted to eat-what they had certainly well England !" To this remark the Germans would enough earned-their breakfast. As soon as mine of course say, that low, half-inch scantling is was concluded, I.voted it necessary to clean my quite sufficient among well-bred people, whatever head, for from certain white particies which float coarser protection might be requisite among us throughout the bath, as thickly as, and indeed English ; but though this argument may sound very much resembling, the mica in granite, I found triumphant, yet delicacy is a subject which is not
that my hair was in a sticky state, in which I did fit for noisy discussion. Like the bloom on fruit, not feel disposed it should remain. I ought, howit is a subject that does not bear touching; and ever, most explicitly to state, that the operation I if people of their own accord do not feel that the
here imposed upon myself was an act of eccentriscene I have described is indelicate, it is quite im. city, forming no part of the regular system of the possible to prove it to them, and therefore the
Wiesbaden bathers-indeed, I should say that the less said is the soonest mended.”
art of cleaning the hair is not anywhere much enAs I was standing in the long passage, occupy- couraged among Germans, who, perhaps with reaing myself with the above reflections, a nice, son, rather pride themselves in despising any sort healthy old woman, opening a door, beckoned to of occupation or accomplishment which can at all me to advance, and accordingly with her I entered be called—superficial. the little cell. Seeing I was rather infirm, and Before I quit the subject of bathing, I may as stranger, she gave me, with two towels, a few well at once observe, that one of my principal reanecessary instructions,—such as that I was to re- sons for selecting the apartments I occupied at the main in the mixture about thirty-five minutes, Englischen Hof was, that the window of my sitand beneath the fluid to strike with my arms and ting-room looked into the horse-bath, which was legs as strenuously as possible.
immediately beneath them. Three or four times The door was now closed, and my dressing-a-day, horses, lame or chest-foundered, were gown being
fully hung upon a peg, (a situa- brought to this spot. As the water was hot, the tion I much envied it,) I proceeded, considerably animals, on first being led into it, seemed much against my inclinatior., to introduce myself to my frightened, splashing, and violently pawing with new acquaintance, whose face, or surface, was their fore-feet as if to cool it, but being at last more certainly very revolting; for a white, thick, dirty, accustomed to the strange sensation, they very greasy scum, exactly resembling what would be quickly seemed exceedingly to enjoy it. Their on broth, covered the top of the bath. But all bodies being entirely covered, the halter was then this, they say, is exactly as it should be, and, in- tied to a post, and they were thus left to soak for deed, German bathers at Wiesbaden actually in- half or three-quarters of an hour. The heat sist on its appearance, as it proves, they argue, seemed to heighten the circulation of their blood. and nothing could look more animated than their These words were no sooner uttered than I felt heads, as, peeping out of the hot fluid, they my fluent civility suddenly begin to coagulate ; shook their dripping manes and snorted at every the attention I paid my guest became forced and carriage, and horse, which they heard passing. unnatural—I was no longer at my ease; and The price paid for each bathing of each horse is
though I bowed, strained, and endeavoured to be, eighteen kreuzers, and this trifling fact always ap- if possible, more respectful than ever, yet I really peared to me to be the most satisfactory proof I could hardly prevent my lips from muttering aloud, could meet with of the curative properties of the that I had sooner die a homely English peasant Wiesbaden baths : for though it is, of course, the than live to be a Russian Prince! In short, his interest of the inhabitants to insist on their efficacy, Highness's words acted upon my mind like thunyet the poor peasant would never, I think, continue
der upon beer; and, moreover, I could almost for a fortnight to pay sixpence a-day, unless he have sworn that I was an old lean wolf, contempknew, by experience of some sort or other, that his
tuously observing a bald ring rubbed by the collar animal would really derive benefit.
from the neck of a sleek, well-fed mastiff dog; One must not, however, carry the moral too far, however, recovering myself, I managed to give as for even if it be admitted that these baths cure in much information as it was in my humble power horses strains and other effects of over-work, it to afford, and my noble guest then taking his dedoes not follow that they are to be equally benefi- parture, I returned to my open window, to give cial in gout, and other human complaints, which vent in solitude (as I gazed upon the horse-bath) we all know are the effects of under-work, or want to my own reflections upon the subject. of exercise.
Although the petty rule of my life has been neFor more than half an hour I had been indolently ver to trouble myself about what the world calls watching this amphibious scene, when the landlord “politics”—a fine word, by-the-by, much easier entering my room said, that the Russian Prince
expressed than understood)—yet, I must own, I G -n wished to speak to me on some busi- am always happy when I see a nation enjoying ness; and the information was scarcely communi- itself, and melancholy when I observe any large cated, when I perceived his Highness standing at body of people suffering pain or imprisonment the threshold of my door. With the attention due But of all sorts of imprisonment, that of the mind to his rank, I instantly begged he would do me the is, to my taste, the most cruel ; and, therefore, honour to walk in ; and, after we had sufficiently when I consider over what immense dominions bowed to each other, and I had prevailed upon my the Emperor of Russia presides, and how he gogriest to sit down, I gravely requested him, as I verns, I cannot help sympathizing most sincerely stood before him, to be so good as to state in what with those innocent sufferers who have tbe mis way I could have the good fortune to render him fortune to be born his subjects; for if a Russian any service. The Prince very briefly replied, that Prince be not freely permitted to go to Paris, in he had called upon me, considering that I was the what a melancholy state of slavery and debase person in the hotel best capable (he politely inclined ment must exist the minds of what we call the his head) of informing him by what route it would lower classes ? be most advisable for him to proceed to London, As a sovereign remedy for this lamentable poliit being his wish to visit my country.
tical disorder, many very sensible people in Eng. In order at once to solve this very simple pro- land prescribe, I know, that we ought to have blem, I silently unfolded and spread out upon the recourse to arms. I must confess, however, it table my map of Europe; and each of us, as we seems to me that one of the greatest political er. leant over it, placing a fore-finger on or near Wies- rors England could commit would be to declare, baden-(our eyes being fixed upon Dover)-we or to join in declaring war against Russia; ir remained in this reflecting attitude for some se- short, that an appeal to brute force would, at this conds, until the Prince's finger first solemnly began moment, be at once most unscientifically to stop to trace its route. In doing this I observed that an immense moral engine, which, if left to its his Highness's hand kept swerving far into the work, is quite powerful enough, without bloodNetherlands; so, gently pulling it by the thumb shed, to gain for humanity, at no expense at all, towards Paris, I used as much force as I thought its object. The individual who is, I conceive, to decorous, to induce it to advance in a straight line ; overthrow the Emperor of Russia—who is to dihowever, finding my efforts ineffectual, I ventured, rect his own legions against himself—who is to do with respectful astonishment, to ask, “Why travel what Napoleon at the head of his Great Army by so uninteresting a route ?”
failed to effect, is the little child, who, lighted by The Prince at once acknowledged that the the single wick of a small lamp, sits at this moroad I had recommended would, by visiting Paris, ment perched above the great steam-press of our afford him the greatest pleasure, but he frankly “Penny Magazine,” feeding it, from morning till told me that no Russian, not even a personage night, with blank paper, which, at almost every of his rank, could enter that capital without puisation of the engine, comes out stamped on first obtaining a written permission from the Em- both sides with engravings, and with pages of peror !!!
plain, useful, harmless knowledge, which, by 332
making the lower orders acquainted with foreign without shrinking, eat most lead, it would be prulands—foreign productions-various states of so- dent to create an army, as well as funds able to ciety, etc., tend practically to inculcate “Glory to maintain it; forGod in the highest, and on earth peace--good will
" Beware towards men.” It has already been stated, that
Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in, what proceeds from this press is now greedily de
Bear it, that the opposer may beware of thee !" voured by the people of Europe; indeed, even at Berlin, we know it can hardly be reprinted fast Being desirous to observe the way in which a enough.
Sunday evening was passed in Germany, at seven This child, then, -"this sweet little cherub that o'clock on that day I followed a crowd of people sits up aloft,” is the only army that an enlightened into the theatre, and found the house so full, that country like ours should, I humbly think, deign I had great difficulty in obtaining a seat. The to oppose to one who reigns in darkness—who performance was a complete surprise to me, for trembles at day-light, and whose throne rests upon though ages ago, when I was young, I had been in ignorance and despotism. Compare this mild, the habit of regularly attending for years together peaceful, intellectual policy, with the dreadful, sa- an Italian theatre, yet never having before witnessvage alternative of going to war, and the difference ed a German opera, I did not know it was possible must surely be evident to every one. In the former so completely to adapt the sounds of music to every case, we calmly enjoy, first of all, the pleasing re- varying thought and sentiment in a play; in short, flection, that our country is generously imparting the words of the play, and the notes of the orchesto the nations of Europe the blessings she is tran- tra, were as nearly as possible fac-similes of each quilly deriving from the purification and civilization other ; demi-semi-quavers, crotchets, and minims of her own mind;—far from wishing to exterminate, being made most ingeniously to mimic, not only we are gradually illuminating, the Russian pea- exclamations, but marks of admiration, notes of sant-we are mildly throwing a gleam of light interrogation, colons, and full stops. upon the fetters of the Russian Prince;
The musical emphasis which accompanied every every well-disposed person must see, that, if we line throughout the piece, while it merely astowill only have patience, the result of this noble, nished me, seemed to be most scientifically appretemperate conduct must produce all that reason- ciated by the audience, whose countenances of able beings can desire. But, on the other hand, severe attention were yery remarkable; no interif we appeal to arms—if, losing our temper and ruption, however, of any sort took place, their our head, we endeavour (as the bear is taught to feelings of approbation or censure being equally dance) to civilize the Emperor of Russia by hard mute. In the various departments of the performblows, we instantly consolidate all the tottering ance, a great deal of natural talent was displayed, elements of his dominions; we give life, energy, and whether one attended to the music-to the and loyalty to his army; we avert the thoughts style of acting—to the scenery—or even to a dish of his princes from their own dishonour; we in- of devils, which made their appearance, most flame the passions, instead of awakening the sober strangely garnished with toads, bats, serpents, and judgment of his subjects, and thus throwing away nondescript beings, one could not help admitting both our fulcrum and our lever, by resorting to that, in spite of its torpor, there must exist a conmain strength, we raise the savage not only to a siderable quantity of latent genius, imagination, level with ourselves, but actually make ourselves and taste in the audience itself; indeed, there can decidedly his inferior ; for Napoleon's history be no fairer criterion of the mental character of any ought surely sufficiently to instruct us, that the country, than its own national spectacles, which weapons of this northern Prince of Darkness
are of course, and must be, made to correspond (his climate and his legions)-even if we had an with, and suit, the palates of those who support army, we ought not, in prudence, to attack; but them. It is true that that mimic Fashion will the fact is, our pacific policy has been to try to occasionally introduce into a country foreign habits, exist without an army,-in the opinion of all mili- not suited to its climate. For instance, of our tary men we have even disarmed ourselves too own fine London opera, Italians say, that without much, and, in sthis situation, suddenly to change calling upon the English audience itself to sing, our system, and without arms or armour to attack their behaviour quite clearly proves that they have one who is almost invulnerable, would be most no real taste for-that they are not capable of irrationally to paralyze our own political machi- relishing, the foreign musical luxury which by the nery.
power of money they have purchased : in short, If, by its moral assistance, we wisely intend, they accuse us of listening, when we ought to be under the blessings of Heaven, to govern and be coughing—of talking to each other, when we ought governed, we surely ought not from anger to desert to be breathless, from attention-and of most bar. its standard ; and, on the other hand, it must be barously throwing the light of the theatre upon ourequally evident that before we determine on civi- selves instead of on the performers-thus showing lizing the Emperor of Russia, by trying the barba- that we prefer looking at tiers of red cheeks and rous experiment of whether his troops or ours can, rows of white teeth, to listening to the soft, simple melody of music. But, whether these foreign re- tetotums to spin out the evening in their own way, marks respecting an Italian performance be true I quitted the great room; but no sooner did I eror not, in our own element, in our own English ter the smaller dens, than I found that I had fallen theatres, the accusation of want of taste does not from the frying-pan into the fire, for these “hells” hold good. The admirers of Shakspeare, Siddons, were literally swarming with inhabitants. In Kemble, Kean, O'Neil, etc., cannot complain that. each chamber an immense solitary lamp (having the writings of the one, or the acting of the others, a circular reflector) hung over the green cloth tahave not reached the hearts of those to whom they ble, round which, male and female gamesters, of have been directed ; in short, without sympathetic all ages, were bending, with horrid features of talent throughout the country, those names could anxiety; and as the powerful rancid oil light shone never have reached the respective eminences on upon
their ill-favoured countenances, I could not which they stand, and thus, though they do honour help with abhorrence leaning backwards, at see10 the country, the country can also claim honour ing a group of fellow-creatures huddled together from them.
for such a base, low-minded object. In passing When the pleasing performance I had been wit- through the chambers of this infernal regioni, I nessing was at an end, on coming into the open found one worse, if possible, than the other. Unair, I found it was raining. Like myself, most der cach lamp, there were, here and there, con. people were without umbrellas ; the rain, howev- trasted with young nibblers, individual counteer, scemed to have no effect upon the tide of human nances of nabitual gamesters, which, as objects bodies that flowed en masse towards the Cursaal, of detestation, many a painter, or rather scenewhich, ready lighted up, was waiting for the dis- painter, would have been exceedingly anxious to gorging of the theatre. On entering the great door, sketch, but I was so completely disgusted with the cach person was required to pay a florin, and as whole thing, that, as quickly as my staff and two the large room was rapidly very nearly filled, the legs could carry me, sivinging the other arm, I band struck up, and dancing most vigorously be- took my departure. gan. I could now scarcely believe my eyes, that In hastily worming my way through the ballthe performers, so awkwardly attempting to be room, I saw there no reason for changing my active before me, were the identicai people whose
opinion ; and when I got into the fresh, cool, open passive good taste and genius I had, with so much air, though I was fully sensible I had not spent pleasure, been admiring; for with a more awk- my Sunday evening exactly as I ought to have ward, clumsy, inelegant set of dancers I certainly done, yet in the course of my very long life, I never before had found myself in society. Not
think I never felt more practically disposed to only was the execution of their steps violently repeat, as in England we are, thank Heaven, still bad, but their whole style of dancing was of a tex
taught to doture as coarse as dowlas, and most especially, in their mode of waltzing, there was a repetition of vulgar jerks which it was painfully disagreeable
SABBATH DAY." to witness. Leaving, therefore, these dull, heavy,
REMEMBER THAT THOU KEEP HOLY THE